Blackberry Curve 9220 Review: Hardware, Interface, Apps, Price and Verdict
Design and built
If you have seen Blackberry Curve handsets, especially the Curve 8520 – you won’t find it hard to recognize the Blackberry Curve 9220. Blackberry keeps the winning design intact with the BB 9220. It has the same QWERTY brick style body with round edges. Although the body is made of glossy plastic, it looks very premium – a tradition with BB. It has a glossy front body with the glossy FT screen. Even the back flap is glossy, but there is a rubber ring surrounding the sides of the phone that gives a good hold – and also breaks the monotony.
The front side has the screen, the four-row compact QWERTY keyboard with optical trackpad and the receiver and LED notification on top of the screen. The back has the 2MP camera and the imprinted BB logo. The left side has the microUSB port and a BBM key. The right side has the volume rocker and the dedicated camera button. You can customize both the BBM and camera keys to have short-cuts of your own. There are the sleep button and 3.5mm jack on the top and the speaker at the bottom of the phone. None of the hot-keys (BBM, volume rocker and the camera hotkey) work when the phone is locked.
Overall we like the look and feel of the body although it is all plastic.
The display is not scratch-proof so you might want to catch hold of a screen-guard at the first chance you got. The resolution is not very crisp, but decent for this price-point.
The 9220 has a compact 35-key QWERTY keypad which is the usual layout BB uses. Above the keys are the optical trackpad, menu, back, call start and end keys. We absolutely love the trackpad for its fluidness and accuracy. It, although moves just by swiping your finger, thereby the name optical, but doesnot move too fast and stay under control. The keys could be a little hard to press in the beginning, and they are quite closely located, but you’ll get used to it. All the keys are well-raised so that you get a proper haptic feedback.
Blackberry OS 7.1
The Blackberry OS 7.1 is a new refreshing entry into the Blackberry interfaces. It brings in some fine-tuned features to the 9220. BB OS 7.1 is probably the lightest and fastest of them all and moves the closest towards the true Smartphone class. The homescreen has the top bar at the top where you can quickly toggle on/off available connections – and set alarm. The notification bar sitting right below the top bar is divided into three parts. On the left is the volume key where you can also select desired sound profile like normal, mute, vibrate only etc. The middle long bar shows you available missed calls, mails, messages etc. Click it to maximize the bar and read the stuff. The right side has the universal search key to search anything in the phone – even from web cache. It also supports voice command.
Come past the wallpaper and you have the main menu. Click on that “All” bar to pull up the menu with all available items. Scroll below to select any of them. Go back to the title All and scroll sidewise to favorites, media, downloads and frequent items. Keep pressing on the trackpad on any menu item will allow you to mark it as favorite, move to folder, hide icon etc. Pressing on the menu will bring a main menu where by default the most desired action is selected.
One is clear – the new 7.1 interface is very neat, smooth and fast – although doesnot bring many new things.
Blackberry allows you to do multi-tasking. While inside any application, press menu and go to switch application to switch to another one. It is smooth and seamless and doesnot each much memory.
Phone, mail and messaging
The phone menu only brings up contacts on phone by default. You’ll have to go to SIM contacts separately. You can choose to show activities associated with your contacts. Install Google Sync to move all contacts from your Android handset. The menu on contact will then populate a Google sync tab – cool!
Messaging supports threaded view, just press R to reply. It supports smileys although we would’ve liked them animated. It automatically recognizes phone numbers and URLs so easygoing there.
You can configure the mail accounts only if you have your Enterprise account activated. One good thing about the mail app is that it also incorporates your social media updates.